On Gorka, the crazy left declares war

Rebuffed and discredited several times, the left has fired another round of hate-journalism at Dr. Sebastian Gorka, one of President Trump's most talented policy advisers.  The latest hit piece comes from that bastion of journalistic integrity, the much sued Rolling Stone.  Its headline: "Sebastian Gorka, the West Wing's Phony Foreign-Policy Guru."

In the 1,919-word screed, written by one Bob Dreyfuss, whose other associations include The Nation; In These Times; HuffPo; and, kid you not, Lyndon Larouche's Executive Intelligence Review, we are suddenly supposed to think Dr. Gorka's education credentials are not as good as those of assorted swamp things, many of whom are quoted jealously defending their turf in the national security academic sphere.

"It's surreal and quite horrifying that someone who's such an amateur has reached such heights," says David Ucko, associate professor in the Department of War and Conflict Studies at National Defense University. Adds Michael S. Smith II, a veteran terrorism analyst who's had unpleasant run-ins with Gorka, "This is not somebody who should be working anywhere near the White House." Even more bluntly, a colleague of Smith's, Cindy Storer, an ex-CIA terrorism analyst, said, "He's nuts."

This from the crowd who said nothing about creative writing major Ben Rhodes sidling into the position of President Obama's deputy national security adviser?  That remained silent when Samantha Power, a writer of drippy emotional advocacy journalism, became the U.S.'s United Nations ambassador?  Or any of the huge cavalcade of left-wing activists such as Susan Rice who rolled into top positions at the National Security Council?  Give us a break.

The line of attack this time focuses on Gorka as not being good enough for the White House because he lacks academic "status."  It's buttressed by the petty little jealousies of the #NeverTrump crowd, full of quotes suggesting they are all upset that Gorka got a White House job and they didn't.  Other than Storer, they are all larded up with academic credentials of Ruritanian pomp.  Yet it's a peculiar focus for Dreyfuss to be zeroing in on, given that in his HuffPo biography, he claims that despite having a Columbia University degree (conspicuously absent of any notation of the Graduate School of Journalism), he's all suspicious of Ivy League snobs.  Really?  Dreyfuss sounds more than a little involved in the Ivy League status game, given the focus of his argument on Gorka.

So we learn that Gorka's degree isn't good enough, as if that is the best criterion for judging whether someone is suitable for executing policy.  To support this, we learn he got into a scrap with an obnoxious little academic troll with a wounded bloated ego named Smith.  We read a real whopper of an unsubstantiated claim, from some little known associate professor, accusing Gorka of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis, with absolutely no substantiation – and substantiation would be very easy.  (The funniest part of these whinings in this pattern of argument is from an earlier article in Newsweek, which claims that since Gorka never submitted an article to some obscure academic journal called "Terrorism and Political Violence," he can't possibly be of any consequence.)  We see name-calling.  We see mangled facts and repackaged narratives.

Let's look at some of those.  Citing an anonymous source, Dreyfuss claims that Gorka was on his way out at the White House, and the only reason he was able to stay is that no one in any other agency would have him.

By late April, White House sources told The New York Times and The Washington Post that Gorka was on the way out. Yet so far – likely thanks to support from Bannon – both Gorkas have defiantly stayed in place. According to one insider, Gorka's dubious qualifications may have saved him. "The White House tried to find him a job at another agency," says the source. But no luck: "Nobody wanted him."

So the swamp didn't want Gorka?  Surprise, surprise.  Nice narrative if you can buy it.  I don't.

The news stories about Gorka being on his way out, planted by his anonymous Deep-State enemies, certainly were out there.  But by May, President Trump himself got so disgusted with the left's three-ring circus that he cracked the whip on the whole clown show and chased the idiots out.  I wrote about it here, citing the left-wing Daily Beast, which reported:

When the White House backed off its efforts to dump Sebastian Gorka on another federal agency, the controversial counterterrorism advisor had the president himself to thank, The Daily Beast has learned.

After news emerged last week that the Trump administration was setting the stage to move the British-born national security aide out of the White House, President Donald Trump and his chief strategist Stephen Bannon “personally intervened” to put a halt to Gorka’s White House eviction, two senior administration sources said.

So no, it wasn't a matter of no agency wanting to take Gorka; it was President Trump shutting the sneaky anonymous leakers and their creepy campaign against Gorka the hell up.  Trump fires people all the time, most of the time without any effort to get them new jobs.  Why would it be at all different for Gorka?

It points to the real reason the left hates Gorka: he is effective.  Unique among policymakers, he has a gift for explaining U.S. policy to ordinary Americans, to communicate why the U.S. is taking the actions it is taking.  The left can't stand that, cannot stand anyone who is effective, and that may explain why leftists continuously seek to take down Gorka.

All sorts of things in the piece are either stupid or fact-challenged.  Dreyfuss in his lede upbraids Gorka for an inflammatory headline that ran under his byline, when in fact there was nothing inflammatory about the article, and he knows very well as a journalist that writers do not write their own headlines.

He also claims, without substantiation, that Gorka is unable to distinguish the various factions and strains of thought within Islam and Islamism – pure baloney, given Gorka's appearances on Fox News that do precisely that.

He tried to claim that Gorka had some sort of no-show job at some think-tank, citing that he "periodically delivered lectures."  He threw in the word "only" in front of that phrase to change its context entirely through innuendo.

Dreyfuss cited a gun incident where, after death threats against his family, Gorka put a gun into a suitcase to transport it on a flight.  Gorka ran into trouble for that, but the charges were dismissed.  Dreyfuss omits that last inconvenient fact.

The familiar and discredited lies about Gorka and Nazis is also repeated for good measure.  Gorka has never had associations with such people, and back in Hungary, he steered clear even from the far right.  That doesn't stop Dreyfuss from repeating the same old canards.

The bottom line here is that the left hates Gorka because he effectively presents Trump's position on national security, which is so reasonable that it enrages the left.  He also refuses to play the left's academic games and won't kowtow to their swamp status demands.  That must make them feel helpless.  That is the root of this war, a sorry war of personal attacks, since the left cannot claim that Gorka is incompetent.  It's an appalling record, and thus far, it's only causing them to make outrageous fools of themselves.

Note: An earlier version of this piece repeated an assertion by James Joyner that he never spoke to Dreyfuss. But it appears that Joyner may have suffered something of a senior moment and now has recalled otherwise. AT regrets the error.

Rebuffed and discredited several times, the left has fired another round of hate-journalism at Dr. Sebastian Gorka, one of President Trump's most talented policy advisers.  The latest hit piece comes from that bastion of journalistic integrity, the much sued Rolling Stone.  Its headline: "Sebastian Gorka, the West Wing's Phony Foreign-Policy Guru."

In the 1,919-word screed, written by one Bob Dreyfuss, whose other associations include The Nation; In These Times; HuffPo; and, kid you not, Lyndon Larouche's Executive Intelligence Review, we are suddenly supposed to think Dr. Gorka's education credentials are not as good as those of assorted swamp things, many of whom are quoted jealously defending their turf in the national security academic sphere.

"It's surreal and quite horrifying that someone who's such an amateur has reached such heights," says David Ucko, associate professor in the Department of War and Conflict Studies at National Defense University. Adds Michael S. Smith II, a veteran terrorism analyst who's had unpleasant run-ins with Gorka, "This is not somebody who should be working anywhere near the White House." Even more bluntly, a colleague of Smith's, Cindy Storer, an ex-CIA terrorism analyst, said, "He's nuts."

This from the crowd who said nothing about creative writing major Ben Rhodes sidling into the position of President Obama's deputy national security adviser?  That remained silent when Samantha Power, a writer of drippy emotional advocacy journalism, became the U.S.'s United Nations ambassador?  Or any of the huge cavalcade of left-wing activists such as Susan Rice who rolled into top positions at the National Security Council?  Give us a break.

The line of attack this time focuses on Gorka as not being good enough for the White House because he lacks academic "status."  It's buttressed by the petty little jealousies of the #NeverTrump crowd, full of quotes suggesting they are all upset that Gorka got a White House job and they didn't.  Other than Storer, they are all larded up with academic credentials of Ruritanian pomp.  Yet it's a peculiar focus for Dreyfuss to be zeroing in on, given that in his HuffPo biography, he claims that despite having a Columbia University degree (conspicuously absent of any notation of the Graduate School of Journalism), he's all suspicious of Ivy League snobs.  Really?  Dreyfuss sounds more than a little involved in the Ivy League status game, given the focus of his argument on Gorka.

So we learn that Gorka's degree isn't good enough, as if that is the best criterion for judging whether someone is suitable for executing policy.  To support this, we learn he got into a scrap with an obnoxious little academic troll with a wounded bloated ego named Smith.  We read a real whopper of an unsubstantiated claim, from some little known associate professor, accusing Gorka of plagiarism in his doctoral thesis, with absolutely no substantiation – and substantiation would be very easy.  (The funniest part of these whinings in this pattern of argument is from an earlier article in Newsweek, which claims that since Gorka never submitted an article to some obscure academic journal called "Terrorism and Political Violence," he can't possibly be of any consequence.)  We see name-calling.  We see mangled facts and repackaged narratives.

Let's look at some of those.  Citing an anonymous source, Dreyfuss claims that Gorka was on his way out at the White House, and the only reason he was able to stay is that no one in any other agency would have him.

By late April, White House sources told The New York Times and The Washington Post that Gorka was on the way out. Yet so far – likely thanks to support from Bannon – both Gorkas have defiantly stayed in place. According to one insider, Gorka's dubious qualifications may have saved him. "The White House tried to find him a job at another agency," says the source. But no luck: "Nobody wanted him."

So the swamp didn't want Gorka?  Surprise, surprise.  Nice narrative if you can buy it.  I don't.

The news stories about Gorka being on his way out, planted by his anonymous Deep-State enemies, certainly were out there.  But by May, President Trump himself got so disgusted with the left's three-ring circus that he cracked the whip on the whole clown show and chased the idiots out.  I wrote about it here, citing the left-wing Daily Beast, which reported:

When the White House backed off its efforts to dump Sebastian Gorka on another federal agency, the controversial counterterrorism advisor had the president himself to thank, The Daily Beast has learned.

After news emerged last week that the Trump administration was setting the stage to move the British-born national security aide out of the White House, President Donald Trump and his chief strategist Stephen Bannon “personally intervened” to put a halt to Gorka’s White House eviction, two senior administration sources said.

So no, it wasn't a matter of no agency wanting to take Gorka; it was President Trump shutting the sneaky anonymous leakers and their creepy campaign against Gorka the hell up.  Trump fires people all the time, most of the time without any effort to get them new jobs.  Why would it be at all different for Gorka?

It points to the real reason the left hates Gorka: he is effective.  Unique among policymakers, he has a gift for explaining U.S. policy to ordinary Americans, to communicate why the U.S. is taking the actions it is taking.  The left can't stand that, cannot stand anyone who is effective, and that may explain why leftists continuously seek to take down Gorka.

All sorts of things in the piece are either stupid or fact-challenged.  Dreyfuss in his lede upbraids Gorka for an inflammatory headline that ran under his byline, when in fact there was nothing inflammatory about the article, and he knows very well as a journalist that writers do not write their own headlines.

He also claims, without substantiation, that Gorka is unable to distinguish the various factions and strains of thought within Islam and Islamism – pure baloney, given Gorka's appearances on Fox News that do precisely that.

He tried to claim that Gorka had some sort of no-show job at some think-tank, citing that he "periodically delivered lectures."  He threw in the word "only" in front of that phrase to change its context entirely through innuendo.

Dreyfuss cited a gun incident where, after death threats against his family, Gorka put a gun into a suitcase to transport it on a flight.  Gorka ran into trouble for that, but the charges were dismissed.  Dreyfuss omits that last inconvenient fact.

The familiar and discredited lies about Gorka and Nazis is also repeated for good measure.  Gorka has never had associations with such people, and back in Hungary, he steered clear even from the far right.  That doesn't stop Dreyfuss from repeating the same old canards.

The bottom line here is that the left hates Gorka because he effectively presents Trump's position on national security, which is so reasonable that it enrages the left.  He also refuses to play the left's academic games and won't kowtow to their swamp status demands.  That must make them feel helpless.  That is the root of this war, a sorry war of personal attacks, since the left cannot claim that Gorka is incompetent.  It's an appalling record, and thus far, it's only causing them to make outrageous fools of themselves.

Note: An earlier version of this piece repeated an assertion by James Joyner that he never spoke to Dreyfuss. But it appears that Joyner may have suffered something of a senior moment and now has recalled otherwise. AT regrets the error.

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